How to Find People Online for Free
There are many reasons to want to find people online; they may be a long-lost school or work friend or someone that has disappeared.
Many websites and applications offer people finding services, but often for a fee.
The good news is that there are a host of ways to look up people for free.
From obvious options to some not always considered, here are the best ways to find people online for free.
1. Search Engines
Even though it sounds so obvious, people often overlook the simplicity of using a search engine like Google to locate a person.
The challenge with search engines is that they can return a vast volume of results which can take time to wade through. Typing in limited details like a name and a city only will return too many pages.
The way to get the best results is to make the search phrase as specific as possible. An example of a better search phrase is: ‘Mike Jeffries from Omaha, Nebraska, with a cobra tattoo on his neck.’
This level of detail will narrow down the results to be a closer match.
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2. Social Media
It’s estimated that just under 5 billion people worldwide have a social media account. If anybody wants to be found, they will likely have an account.
To determine which platform to search, consider the person’s age and interests. The average age of most social media users is between 25 and 34, so narrow the search down by a person’s assumed usage.
- Twitter: those interested in instant news and current affairs
- Instagram: users who prefer using images over words
- Facebook: people who enjoy sharing moments in their daily lives
- TikTok: teens and young adults under 25 who like to perform in videos
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3. School or College Alum Sites
An excellent way to find contact details of a person is by locating them via their place of education if known.
Many schools and colleges have their own websites, with an album section sorted by years.
There are websites dedicated to finding long-lost school friends, such as classmates.com or alumni.com. Be aware that these sites have free options but may request payment for more in-depth searches.
4. Business Networking Sites
A person may be able to be located based on their profession. Even if the actual employer isn’t known, the field of interest may be enough.
While sites like LinkedIn can be used to get a job, they can also perform searches based on names, locations, and industries. It’s free to join, there is a premium version for a fee, but that’s designed for recruiters, not the average user.
One challenge with the site is that information is only displayed for people that are known to you or one of your connections. Any further afield than that, you need to be referred by another mutual person.
5. Free People Finder Sites
People finder sites are by far the most comprehensive databases online. They scrape the internet for information about people from their social media, public records, and court judgments.
Information taken from records of the sale or purchase of property of motor vehicles also appears on these sites. Often they collaborate with each other and provide data back and forth to increase the volume of the databases.
These sites are highly beneficial when you have little information about a person. They can deliver results with just a name and a state of residence (past or present).
Many websites may present additional questions during the search process that could lead to the discovery of previously unconsidered information.
Some people’s finder sites have a paid option, but plenty of them offer the same service for free.
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Today, you can find information about an individual online relatively easily, and you do not have to spend any money.
Search engines like Google are the obvious first choice, followed closely by social media platforms.
If education-related information is available, school or college alum websites are great resources. Business networking websites are also great options.
In the absence of all these, specialized people search websites have enormous databases of people, with data collected from across the internet.
In the event that none of these websites or applications return any results, it is very likely that the individual does not wish that you locate them.